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KUCHING, Dec 6: Sarawak Energy Berhad has donated RM400,000 to the Sarawak Heart Foundation in aid of the charitable institution’s efforts to raise funds for a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine for Sibu Hospital, as part of the energy developer’s focus on benefiting society at large by supporting health initiatives.
Sarawak Energy Group chief executive officer (CEO) Datu Sharbini Suhaili presented the donation to Deputy Premier and Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government who is also Deputy Chairman of the Sarawak Heart Foundation Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian at a handover ceremony held at the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly building here on Nov 25.
Speaking at the event, Sharbini expressed his hope that Sarawak Energy’s contribution will bring the foundation closer to the amount needed to purchase the MRI machine which will provide a fundamental improvement to Sarawak’s public health services.
“Sarawak Heart Foundation recently reached out to Sarawak Energy about their fundraising efforts to purchase a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Machine for Sibu Hospital, estimated to cost RM2.6 million. The new MRI Machine will be used by Sibu Hospital to cater for patients throughout Sarawak’s central region including from Sarikei, Mukah and Kapit,” he said in a media release today.
Some of Sarawak Energy’s contributions to improving public healthcare services and facilities for rural communities include the group’s CSR Eye Vision Outreach Programme in Baleh, Kapit, Bakun, Murum, Balingian and Mukah which benefited residents suffering from cataracts, in a partnership programme by Sarawak Energy with the Malaysia Health Department’s Cataract Clinic and the State Health Department.
In 2020, Sarawak Energy donated two haemodialysis machines to the Kapit and Lawas hospitals; while in March 2022, the Sungai Asap Clinic in the Bakun Resettlement of Belaga District was presented with a new ambulance. The four-wheel drive ambulance vehicle, modified to suit the topography and terrain of the area supplements two existing ambulances used for emergencies requiring medical evacuation to Bintulu Hospital.
Sharbini also applauded the foundation for all its hard work and charitable efforts since 1996 saying: “Your charity and good work have made a vital difference in the lives of heart patients in Sarawak especially from financially disadvantaged communities.”
Thanking Sarawak Energy for their ongoing support to the State’s local medical and healthcare initiatives, Dr Sim said that the Sarawak Heart Centre’s current MRI machine in Sibu Hospital is nearing the end of its lifespan of 12 years.
“The hospital handles an average of 150 to 180 cases a month and with the new machine, we hope to be able to improve access to health care services including diagnostic and treatment services, especially for the more rural communities,” he added.
The Sarawak Heart Foundation is a charity with the goal of encouraging a healthy heart culture among Sarawakians. Among the functions of the charity are providing financial assistance to heart patients who require treatment assistance and surgery; and purchasing or donating medical equipment for the use of cardiac patients in public hospitals.
It also provides grants and contributions to public hospitals, institutions of higher learning, and professionals in the medical field to study diseases related to the heart, and educates the Sarawak public on ways to identify, avoid, and treat heart disease. — DayakDaily